Frustration might not be the right word to describe what I was feeling going into this preseason. Frustrated doesn’t even begin to explain it. Upset, disheartened, and defeated don’t even get close to describing how I was feeling.
After a deadlifting accident last Fall, my lower back was in a state of chaos – leaving L4/L5 and L5/S1 partially sacralized and the prospect of returning 100% was questionable. Numerous doctors appointments, x-rays, cortisone injections, and physical therapy appointments failed to get me where I wanted heading into my senior season. Nevertheless, I was determined to get back on the field.
August 13th rolled around and I still had back spasms during workouts and a numb sensation down my leg whenever I ran for more than a few minutes. In a word, debilitating. I might as well have had the word UNCLEARED tattooed across my forehead because that was the simple truth. Another cortisone injection, a cocktail of medications, ice baths and a daily back massages helped me get on the field again. It was slow and excruciating learning how to dive again so that I didn’t further damage my spine. I believed that because I had done this twice before, why not a third time?
Nearly a month from that first day back on the field, just jogging for ten minutes, I am now back at it and fully cleared. There is still a painful jolt to my back every time my body slams into the ground, I have come to the realization that it is worth it. Every dive, every kick, every sprint. It is after all, my senior season.